Att nyse T and Verizon Communications nyse Vz Shares Plummet on Epa Announcement

AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) Shares Plummet on EPA Announcement

Shares of AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) fell over 3% on Thursday after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its plans to hold meetings with both companies later this month, intensifying its scrutiny of the potential impact of lead-containing telecommunications cables.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stated that it plans to meet with AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) this month to evaluate the potential impact of telecommunications cables containing lead.

The EPA has undertaken independent sampling efforts in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Louisiana. So far, the agency has not identified any immediate threats that would necessitate emergency or urgent removal actions. The EPA plans to collect additional data early this year to improve its understanding of lead concentration near telecommunications cables.

The EPA has initiated comprehensive testing efforts following an investigative report by the Wall Street Journal that uncovered the widespread use of lead-covered telecommunications cables throughout the United States.

AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) refused to comment and directed all questions to the industry trade group USTelecom.

The group said,

“Companies requested to meet with the agency to discuss the technical results when they submitted them last year. There is still a desire to do so. The bottom line is that the test results continue to show telecom lead-sheathed cables pose no significant public health risk.”

The EPA added,

“While some locations sampled show concentrations above screening levels for long term exposures, existing data is not sufficient to determine whether lead from the cables poses a threat, or a potential threat, to human health or the environment.”

The EPA stated that its investigation would involve establishing various lines of evidence to determine whether the lead presence in soils and water can be attributed to the lead cables.

AT&T stock hit a 30-year low in July as analysts downgraded the company following revelations that it had buried hazardous lead cables across the United States.